Nurses are treating coronavirus patients while “holding their breath” as a result of shortages of protective masks, doctors have claimed.
A dossier being compiled by the Doctors’ Association, a lobbying group, contains a series of alarming claims of medics being unable to access the equipment they need in the last week, to protect themselves from becoming infected.
The evidence includes testimony from doctors at Manchester Royal Infirmary, Kettering General hospital, Northants, Ealing hospital in West London, and Ipswich hospital in Surrey, all warning of shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) required by national guidelines.
Dr Rinesh Parmar, chairman of the Doctors’ Association UK and an intensive care doctor, said: “Broken promises to supply every hospital and GP practice with PPE have left doctors with no option but to take the matters into their own hands.
“The Doctors’ Association UK have collaborated with Messly to produce a free app that allows doctors to report what PPE is available on a daily basis. We’re calling on Matt Hancock to engage with us so that we can identify in real time where there are shortages and ensure that staff receive the equipment they desperately need.”